Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Sound of Silence : Speaking light to darkness

Speak out and let your actions follow your words and dreams
The silence that is not quiet hears your sighs and makes no noise. The silence that is not quiet urges you on to keep on asking questions. They sometimes speak about a  pregnant silence.

 It is therefore alive. It demands reflection. It sighs and screams. The surprising thing is that you may not hear its sound its. Yet silence can awaken you. 
The song "Sound of Silence" makes me think deeply. And connect.

Nightbird is listening to the world's sighs. You could argue she should hear the laughter too. But Nightbird is only trying to keep her heart beat healthy. That is not not easy. She seeks that silence that is resourceful.

In February 1964 after the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 on Friday, Nov 22nd at 12.30 pm at Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas, U.S.A, one of the world's best song writers, Paul Simon, wrote the Sound of Silence. The silence after shots ring? Maybe so and more. This song is an all time favorite for its poetic strength. 

What a greeting to darkness and its personification! It ends up lighting up so much. Nightbird loves to hear this song. For there are many restless dreams in the world. And there are many times we have to ask ourselves just how many gods we must make. You can go on with the song as much as you like. 

"Our lives begin to end the day we are silent about things that matter" Dr. Martin Luther King

It seems we are more alive then if we are not only quiet but singing about what is important to us. These words should wake up us if we are napping. One has to know what makes one tick. Nightbird is moved to act by many things and to speak.

Are you one of those who believed that a Tweet is a waste of time? Have you heard the silence of trouble when you cannot Tweet for yourself like when you are down under in a mine. Soma in Turkey?
Did the whole Boko Haram abduction of the 270 girls go past you because you thought that is just a small little group of militias out there and that is Niger... ria and you have nothing to do with it because you are from Vanuatu? 

What about Flight MH370? Why should you have compassion? That is not your national carrier? Or you simply know nothing about it at all because these days you do not even watch news because you have had enough?
Nightbird learnt that we do not even get most of the stories both good and bad happening in the world. Next time she is bringing good news.

Nightbird believes that your words and attention matter. Yes the do, regarding Somalis in Kenya too. It was never right anywhere at any time in history to target a people based on who they are as human beings. Hard to say bet we have to look for crime.

Loving The Sound of Silence is just so natural. It is the agony of a spirit that is in touch. It does not matter that when it was written Paul Simon was not going through a personal struggle. Somewhere it touched and it still resonates with human beings who connect at invisible levels. You know Nightbird will love to say and sing "Hello Darkness my old friend!"  She is not afraid of difficult circumstances because she writes about a bird that sings at night. In what might be seen as the hopelessness of a hard season or seasons. Still Sings the Nightbird!

Nightbird switches on to a part of the world called Burma. There are of course many parts of the world that need a beam of light. They abound. If only we could find more proactive people that point at where trouble is about to come so that efforts can go into prevention rather than picking up of pieces. Unfortunately these pieces are usually human bodies and as Nightbird normally says, souls have no spare parts as far as we know. Bodies yes, maybe. But souls no.

Not to forget Burma. The constitution of this country bars anybody who has relatives who are foreigners from running for the presidency. This is a strange law. It goes directly against the family of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. She would like to be the president of her country but she was married to an English man and so her children are foreigners in her own home. 

And so what is this all about when for years she was under house arrest on the island. How come it was not forbidden to have under house arrest a person who had got associated with other lands? 
And if this is not only against her but others how is a country to recover against its own divisions when it does not allow those who are somewhat different in? For the world in war time had already opened up Burma to other influence. 

My uncle from Afrika fought in Burma through no fault of his own. I would have imagined even I should be welcome there were he to have left some unknown relatives. 

And I see the men there, the serious men of Burma stand up and say change should not come to the island very fast? I think the speed thing is a lost cause. Change came very long ago and very fast. The Nightbird has seen the Ruhingya crying.

 Even though Suu Kyi did not speak up for them, Nightbird knows that with such limitations who stands to lead, their problems become even more foreign. Nightbird sends a strong beam of light to you Burma. Take it.

The way to go is to review that constitution that is stifling Suu Kyi who would like to be president and whom I think may easily get elected. Yes. Just do it. There is no other way of changing but changing. And change has been arrested for too long. It is not true that it must always tick like an ancient clock. It can move digitally.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Politics of circumcising power, Why do you persecute Korir and some members of Bunge la Mwananchi? Violence gives birth but is there justice?

              Rape: child of a militia gang rape safe-  Why do you persecute Kenyans for their views?

Why do you for example, persecute John Korir the President of Bunge La Mwananchi (one of its chapters)? Why? For Korir is entitled just like all Kenyans who have different views to peace and justice. He is entitled to time with his family and nation just like the President of Kenya is.

Maurice Odhiambo of Bunge La Mwananchi is also under threat for a long time now. The list is longer. There are many who live on the edge wondering what next. But all they did was to

Nightbird was on a lonely journey that found out Korir was having sleepless nights. And he is not alone. John Korir was attacked by some people who claimed that he is a witness at the ICC. Who are these people who go round intimidating others for this reason? 
We know of others who have reported similar incidences? Why and how come nobody speaks out for them.

Why are there hordes of people who go about listing some as supporters of the ICC and reaching out to them and their families for harm? So young people who discuss useful ideas in this Bunge belong to the group of Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) who are deeply intimidated. Silenced almost. And yet everything they know if shouted from the top of the Kenyatta International Conference is everything all the people know about, the very things they whisper perhaps in matatus and in their homes. What is it? We are refusing to learn from our people who were deeply harmed by the violence we are talking about. 

The Government of Kenya, The County Senators and all its Bunge needs to speak out clearly on this intimidation and to see to it that anybody disturbing others and therefore depriving them of their constitutional rights is in the wrong. The Constitution of Kenya 2010 is strong in the defence of Human Rights. And the people are crying and trying to heal their wounds. Look.

A child of militia gang rape is breastfed and loved by a father who watched his wife being raped as he lay on what he thought was his own deathbed.

A militia meets gentleness in the worst of circumstances for their child is not aborted. The couple have chosen life having seen their own at a time of utter futility. Moments that saw a nation lose sanity. Moments that became hours of history written in blood.

It was during the hearing of the Status Conference on the ICC case that I heard this. Is this child a sign or icon of possibility? How can I call this one a sign of justice if that way he landed into this world? How? 

Will poetry not err if I say that maybe this is the kind of icon that can heal a country that is still badly injured by the violence we experienced? For there was a couple. The man was left for dead and his wife raped as he watched before he was clobbered senseless. This was by a militia gang.

I did not know that she conceived and chose to keep the child. I was completely speechless when I heard of the couple's tough decision. For they knew she was raped by a militia gang. This is so moving. Violence. I believe they saw their own lives almost end and therefore, decided to save this child. 

And now they say, they would like justice, only justice because then they can forgive and live. Will they get justice? Why can't violence engender justice or how could it? Can it? One is torn apart upon hearing all this. They are not stories anymore. But the judge said in Kiswahili.

Haki huinua taifa
Justice makes a nation. Where is it? Where is justice? 


We have to stop seeing some ethnic groups as people set apart, marked physically for good or for evil. This is a first point of all leadership. That we are all equal and so much so before the law.

That circumcision is a topic of politics reveals that we are acting on a herd mentality and this does not work for humans. It works for swarms of bees and cattle. People were forcibly cut in the violence of 2007/2008. That was the saddest thing Nightbird was reminded last week by proceedings at the ICC.

Circumcision of men who do not belong to a particular ethnic group. Humiliation of the highest order. It was tough to hear that description again. That people who came from an ethnic group that does not circumcise men were cut and laid out in rows, mutilated parts up. 

I remember Sam Ouma a photographer with a Kenyan newspaper breaking into tears at the memory. He was being interviewed on the violence that gripped Kenya in 2007/2008 after the election.

I also remember a very long call from Ida Odinga. I received it when I was talking to a friend on Kijabe Avenue. She was so torn I thought she was breaking down. Ida Odinga was speaking about her visits to where people were wounded like this. About what she saw as the face of violence in Kenya, its irrational ways.

She spoke about the rape of women in other parts of the country. She wept. She wondered why some leaders had forgotten to keep talking about this. She was caught up in loneliness on searching for answers. She was blunt. She was sick of it all and longed for justice.

Yes, the politics of circumcision is so crude but it went to these levels. Why? Who can stop such thinking if churches over more than 100 years have not? Why did Kenyans forget so many ties that bind us in such a short time? What was really at work then?
How do we forgive and heal a nation? There are other nations to learn from.

But violence has given birth to much more violence than ever before. The nation is challenged by low morale. I read about Gava militia with consternation. A fourteen year-old- girl robs an adult man at gang point. These are children of such deep violence hidden in the rotting womb of our nation. Children at school learning how to be in gangs. 

It is only that I know for each one of these there are thousands in many good organisations:

Writers' groups

Democracy organisations such as Bunge La Mwananchi
Dancing groups
Music groups
Festival groups
Individuals trying to make a mark
Young Farmers
Prayer groups
Village youth groups and so many others.

Only one question. Why does the police spend so much time investigating those who gather to dialogue on democracy for example at Jeevanjee Park in Nairobi? Bunge la Mwananchi? Their President is on the run right now. His life is in danger.